Posts Tagged ‘Warby Parker’

Travel in the Buy-One-Give-One Mode: Elevate Destinations

Maasai Mara group standing in village settingI’ve blogged before, and likely will again, about companies like Warby Parker glasses and TOMS shoes, who have implemented the business model of buy-one-give-one. They are set up so that for each item a customer purchases, a similar item is donated to a community in need. It’s a good model, and is being more readily adopted by more companies, and provides the opportunity for customer loyalty to extend to cause-based issues, education about a chosen problem that can be addressed, and chance for retail to do well while doing good. Bottom line for a business needn’t be exclusively profit.

Since my normal stomping grounds include the travel industry, I am pleased to see footholds being made with this model in this arena as well. Elevate Destinations has launched a new Buy a Trip, Give a Trip model, where every client trip booked through this philanthropic travel company triggers a parallel experience for a child in a developing world destination. Working with local, on-the-ground NGOs, Elevate sponsors outings for youth groups that would otherwise not have access to the sites (and sights) that draw tourists from around the world. Children of Cape Town communities getting to visit Robben Island, for example, or Peruvian youth finally seeing Machu Picchu…it expands the experiences and understanding of marginalized young people.

For a while now, we’ve been aware of responsible travel practices and tools, like carbon offsets, that counter some of the impact we have on the planet as we engage with it…now, with this new Buy One Give One (#B1G1) model for travel…it could be seen as cultural offset, where your visit to a new community or destination leaves something more than footprints.

Warby Parker–Funny Name, Great Idea

Photo: Warby Parker

The seriously cool, sometimes retro eyeglass and sun glass company, Warby Parker, is changing the way we see. Their frames for optical and sun glasses have hipster cred, and they fly in the face of conventional optical norms—meaning they only charge ninety-five bucks for a pair of glasses instead of hundreds (and that includes lenses and anti-reflective coating, an up-charge of a couple hundred MORE dollars at your local optical shop). Their rebellious vibe isn’t just evident in the design (which they do in-house) and anti-price-gouging philosophy of the company, but also in their philanthropic mission. For every pair of glasses you purchase, they send a pair of prescription glasses to someone in need—Buy a Pair, Give a Pair. Studies have shown that glasses (corrected vision) can add 20% to an individual’s income, allow a student to study efficiently, and make work and life in impoverished regions better in many ways we take for granted. About a billion people who need glasses around the world don’t have access to them. Warby Parker partners with non-profit partners, like VisionSpring, to distribute glasses to low income communities across the globe.

And get this–you can order, get free shipping, and even try on a few pairs at home before committing to a frame style–they send you five pairs to try on and wear around for five days before you buy. It’s fun to break the rules, and do good while you’re at it!

Photo: Warby Parker

Photo: Warby Parker